From visiting historical sites to finding the best authentic cuisine, travelling is one of life's greatest adventures. Our "Travel Notes" series features travel itineraries from real people as inspiration for your future escapades.
One of the things we love about travelling is that the destination doesn’t have to be too far from home. Sometimes, a quick getaway from our usual routines is enough to allow us to breathe. That’s how it was for our Clozette Ambassador Christy Ho, who went on a personal retreat in Bangkok during August of last year to recharge after a roller coaster ride of business trips around more than ten countries. You’d think that for someone who travels often for work, another trip would be a bother. But Christy says that given Bangkok is a place she’s already visited before, then going back to this familiar destination to relax shouldn' need a lot of tedious planning.
But for those who are looking to visit this destination for the first time, how would a trip to Thailand’s capital be like? Christy shares that it's actually quite easy. If you're thinking of a destination that's exciting but not travel anxiety-inducing, let Christy's laidback 4D/3N Bangkok itinerary help you out below.
Preparing for the trip
Christy shares that it all just started from a conversation with a friend who hasn’t been to the city before. Being reminded of her own experience with the place's good food, shopping, and massages — all without breaking the bank — turned into a lightbulb moment to make another trip happen.
Lucky for Singapore, Malaysia, and Philippine travellers, a 30-day trip to Bangkok doesn’t require a visa. Flying from all three countries also only take roughly around two to three hours maximum, truly making it an ideal destination for a quick retreat, as an alternative to the equally stunning Bali.
Another thing that’s great about Bangkok is that since it’s also a tropical country, planning for outfits was easy. Christy's wardrobe of choice includes a pair of trusty high waist denim shorts and cute cropped tops to match "for maximum ventilation". She mentioned that flip-flops are also pretty common in Bangkok, but sneakers are also great alternatives for footwear. She always finds it tricky to find the right bag for her outfit, but she notes that a bag's capacity to handle all her essentials, whether it be towels, water bottles or a camera, is what's important. This makes it more convenient since there is a lot of walking and commuting.
As for her best style hack when travelling? Christy shares that since Bangkok is getting more and more popular amongst tourists, wearing brightly coloured outfits or tops to stand out from the crowd is definitely one way to have your travelling companions easily detect you, especially when visiting crowded areas. “Very considerate, I know,” she joked.
Christy said that for accommodations, she teamed up with booking service HomeAway (which is similar to Airbnb) for the trip. They set her up with a beautiful duplex in Ekkamai for her entire stay. Stationed in what’s dubbed as Bangkok’s hipster neighbourhood, the place has a great selection of eats — including vegetarian options — as well as bargain shops and bars for an exciting nightlife scene.
Access to transport is also easy when stationed in this part of Bangkok, especially considering Christy's relaxed itinerary. She claims that this location is definitely great for both first-timers and returning visitors.
Day 1: Chill all the way
Ekkamai, Chuvit Garden, Siam Square
Since the main purpose of the trip was to unwind, Christy’s first day was as chill as it can get. After checking in at their HomeAway accommodation, she and her friend immediately headed to Art Box, a small but trendy night market permanently stationed at Chuvit Garden. Dressed in lights and colourful installations that come alive 5PM until midnight, this makes it a great spot to just hang, eat, and take photos leisurely.
After a couple of rounds around the night market, they then headed to Siam Square to get massages. Christy highly recommends Napar Thiam for the amazing service quality and great value for money. Closing their first day was dinner at Ban Khum Mae just across Siam Square for some hearty Thai food.
Day 2: Bargaining skills at the ready!
Chatuchak Weekend Market
Known for having more than 8,000 stalls purveying food, fashion, knick-knacks and more, it truly is a paradise to spend some of your Baht, all while practising your bargaining skills. Accessible via the BTS Skytrain to Mochit, the MRT Subway to Chatuchak Park or via a cab, you’ll never get lost getting to it as there will be signs (and a wave of people) pointing you to the right direction.
After a hectic day at the Market, a proper dinner is definitely a must. For Christy and her friend, a three-minute train ride from Mo Chit BTS to Thonglor led them Jeh O Chula, a Michelin Bib Gourmand Awardee Tom Yum (Thai hot soup) restaurant, to which they both gave a two-thumbs up.
Day 3: Let’s get luxe
Gaysorn Village, Kashikiri Onsen, Talad Rod Fai Ratchada
After two days of visiting night markets and bargaining hubs, Day 3 is when it gets a little bit luxe as Christy highly recommends splurging a little bit when visiting Gaysorn Village. A known upmarket complex along Ratchaprasong shopping district, if you’re looking for more luxury buys during your travel in Bangkok, this is the place to be.
But for Christy, her main purpose was to have one last hurrah at relaxation in Kashikiri Onsen, which is also stationed in the complex. She says that while it's a bit pricey at THB900++ (~SGD40/~USD30) for a 45-minute onsen experience and a 30-minute massage, it is definitely worth the experience and the spend. “It was so good! I want to go again and again,” Christy gushed.
Finally, Christy and her friend wrapped up the night at King Power Manahakhon, an amazing observation deck in the heart of Bangkok. The architectural marvel stands at 314 metres (78 floors), providing a stunning view of the city no matter what time of day it is. Christy shared that they also had plans to try out the Skywalk, where one can experience walking on glass floors towering over the view, they weren't able to because of the unexpected drizzle. Still, the view from inside the viewing deck still paid off quite nicely. It was definitely a serene way to spend some downtime, especially given that it was their last night in the city.
Day 4: Heading home
Christy said that while her last day was a bit uneventful as they had to head to the airport early, it was a great way to put their laid-back trip to a close. For final reminders when travelling to this city, she said that sunglasses, as well as a ton of sunscreen, is imperative, given that the sun is usually always up when in good ol’ BKK. She also quipped that while you can wear whatever you want, especially in consideration of the heat, make sure you cover up when visiting holy places.
Overall, Bangkok is a great place for a quick and easy getaway, especially when you’re coming from Singapore, Malaysia or the Philippines. Christy's itinerary proves that jetting off to a new location doesn't have to be too tedious or hectic, especially when your destination already has a lot to offer. So next time you're planning a trip that's less fuss and more fun, remember that Bangkok has got it all, whether you're in for the food, the culture, the relaxation or all of the above — all while leaving you to be more relaxed on the planning!
Catch more of Christy's travel adventures over at Instagram.